Israeli Lawmakers Clear Way for Netanyahu To Ban Al Jazeera in Israel

By The Media Line Staff

Under a new law passed Monday allowing the Israeli government to temporarily ban or restrict media outlets deemed harmful to national security, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared later that day that he intended to ban the Al Jazeera news network from operating within the country.

“The terrorist channel Al Jazeera will no longer broadcast from Israel. I intend to act immediately in accordance with the new law to stop the channel’s activity,” Netanyahu posted to social media platform X.

Israel’s unicameral legislature, the Knesset, passed a version of the bill allowing the executive to shut down the in-country operations of foreign media entities like Al Jazeera. The government can block networks’ ability to broadcast on television, confiscate equipment, and close offices.

Israeli officials have long accused Al Jazeera of bias but ramped up criticism after uncovering alleged evidence that the network’s staff actively incited or participated in the October 7 terrorist attack.

Following the announcement, Al Jazeera released a statement calling the move the latest “part of a series of systematic Israeli attacks to silence Al Jazeera” and that Netanyahu’s comments were “lies that incite against the safety of our journalists around the world.”

The Qatar-based network pledges to continue its work nonetheless, the statement added.

The station is funded largely by the Qatari government, and the announcement of an imminent ban comes at a particularly precarious moment in the bilateral relationship between Jerusalem and Doha. The latter continues to serve as one of the primary mediators in the ongoing cease-fire talks with Hamas.

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